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Knowledge and perception of HPV in the population over 18 years of age in the city of Ipatinga – State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Abstract

Several studies have identified misconceptions about human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to negligent behavior and risk to the health of the population. This article aims to assess the knowledge of men and women about HPV in the city of Ipatinga, Minas Gerais, and evaluate socioeconomic factors and preventive measures associated with such knowledge. It involved a cross-sectional study with 591 subjects living in the city, by means of stratified sampling by quotas proportional to the number of individuals by sex and age in each of the eight administrative regions of the city. Pearson’s chi-square test or the t–Student test and the binary logistic regression model were used to assess the factors associated with knowledge about HPV. Less than half (40.1%) of the respondents said they knew what HPV was. Factors associated with having knowledge about HPV were being female, having secondary or tertiary education, using the private health service, having heard about or seen a campaign about HPV and knowing of the existence of a vaccine against HPV. There is a great deficit of knowledge about HPV and vague information of what is known, favoring actions with a potential risk to personal health, including that of the partner.

HPV; STD; Knowledge

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